NASA’s LADEE Probe Launches Toward the Moon, Lights Up East Coast SHARE: Tweet Shortly before midnight on Friday, NASA launched a rocket to the moon. The mission is noble, atmospheric mysteries to be solved, but the excitement mostly came from the sheer awesomeness of seeing the Minotaur V rocket lighting up the East Coast from Virginia to New England. Ben Cooper, at the top of the Rockefeller Center, snapped this great pic: via Ben Cooper/@LaunchPhoto LADEE, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer robotic probe, launched atop an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur V rocket. This marked the first deep space mission from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. “LADEE will orbit the moon to collect information about its atmosphere and environmental influences on lunar dust,” according to NASA. “Data from LADEE will help scientists better understand other planetary bodies in our solar system.” SEE ALSO: • NASA Makes a Joke, in a Geeky, Sciency Way • Parallel Parking On Mars? Yup, And an Earthly Sneak Attack Check out some more great pics of the launch here: AP Photo/NASA, Carla Cioffi NASA, Carla Cioffi AP Photo/NASA, Carla Cioffi From the Bronx: via @hsuperb0i A 60-second exposure from Scientist Cliffs boat ramp, by Master George: via @ISONUpdates MOST RECENT BY Slade Sohmer:Sonic Apologizes For Saying Kansas City Chiefs Will ‘Scalp the Redskins’That Lion-Eagles Whiteout Produced Some Truly Majestic Football Photos Full Video of Protesters In Kiev Toppling, Decapitating Lenin Statue Slade Sohmer Slade Sohmer is editor-in-chief of HyperVocal and co-host of SiriusXM's daily "Politics Powered By Twitter" program. Tweet him at @SladeHV.